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Council explores independence bid

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: December 12, 2012

By Shaun Greaney

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CIVIC leaders in Llanelli are preparing to explore the consequences of breaking free from Carmarthenshire Council's control.

Mayor Winston Lemon urged the town council to vote for independence from Carmarthenshire, with more powers, responsibility and a greater budget at last week's meeting.

Such a move could end with most major decisions affecting Llanelli being made by the town council and Mr Lemon hoped it would lead to the voice of the people being "properly heard".

He criticised the county council's move of staff from Ty Elwyn to the East Gate development at "tremendous cost to the taxpayer", the demolition of listed buildings over the years, and the "popping up" of facilities for ex-offenders and people with drug and alcohol misuse problems.

Mr Lemon claimed there had been a running down of industry in Llanelli over the years, and also criticised the decision to move the Scarlets out of Stradey Park, which he said impacted on the town centre.

Fellow Plaid councillor Mike Burns spoke up to criticise the "plethora of licences" granted in the East Gate scheme.

He asked if the town council could expect help over the rundown of Prince Philip Hospital and added: "Possibly not, health services under Hywel Dda are expected to be centralised in Carmarthen."

Council leader Carl Lucas, of Labour, said: "I don't think anyone can disagree with what you say and I certainly welcome this coming on the agenda simply because I do believe local services should be determined by local people.

"We are currently being served and directed by people from outside this council."

He added: "Whilst I support the call for Llanelli to be given greater duties, this certainly cannot come without a budgetary transfer from the bigger authority."

He said the motion didn't give a lot of detail about the consequences of the proposed move and felt their case for more powers would need strengthening.

Mr Lemon said: "I will bring it back with more detail and more concrete financial information to back up the motion."

It was unanimously agreed that the matter would come before the next town council meeting.

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  • weslangdon  |  December 12 2012, 8:51PM

    Llanelli has a legitimate grievance over PPH but little else; enterprise zones came with the Thatcher era as did the destruction of Duport Steel works amongst others, these are all things beyond Carmarthen CC's remit and something they can't be blamed for.

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  • weslangdon  |  December 12 2012, 8:24PM

    Posting it 3 times doesn't make it any better, unfortunately 22 councils mean 22 different ways of doing things and some councils are diabolically bad. Be grateful you like there and not in NPT

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  • Einon  |  December 12 2012, 8:08PM

    Well it's got to be better than the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay merging and centralizing everything under the sun. Merge schools and colleges so that education standard suffer. Merge hospitals so that A&Es are stretched to breaking point. Merge local authorities so that they are even bigger and less accountable to the people. Good on Winston Lemon for striking a blow for local democracy!

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  • Einon  |  December 12 2012, 8:03PM

    Well it's got to be better than the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay merging and centralizing everything under the sun. Merge schools and colleges so that education standard suffer. Merge hospitals so that A&Es are stretched to breaking point. Merge local authorities so that they are even bigger and less accountable to the people. Good on Winston Lemon for striking a blow for local democracy!

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  • Einon  |  December 12 2012, 7:59PM

    Yes, what we need is more back-door centralization, driven by the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay. Merge colleges and schools so that education standards suffer, merge hospitals so that A&Es are stretched to breaking point. Merge local authorities so that they become even more distant from the people, all manned by little tin-pot dictators like Carmarthen's Chief Exec Mark James. Good on Winston Lemon for striking a blow for local democracy.

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  • weslangdon  |  December 12 2012, 6:57PM

    Ludicrous, we need to merge councils not invent new ones, typical that a Cllr wants to build up his own little empire

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